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You can’t approve NCC budget, senator tells finance minister

Solomon AdeolaTVC E. The Federal Government had ordered the audit of all revenue generating agencies in the country in order to ensure that all funds collected were remitted into its coffers.

Vice chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), has faulted the orders by Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other revenue generating agencies are to submit their budgets to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.

Adeosun, who briefed State House Correspondents after the first Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting this year, also said the relevant agencies had been mandated to present their budgets for approval.

Adeola reacted by saing : Under the NCC Act, only the National Assembly was empowered to consider and approve the budget of NCC and that any attempt by the Executive to approve the budget of Commission was not only illegal but also an encroachment on the function and power of the Legislature.

According to Adeola, the only fund NCC is mandated to pay to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation is “All monies accruing from the sale of spectrum” as contained in Section 17(3) of the Act.
While asserting that NCC is a semi-autonomous Commission, the senator said, “the finance minister only comes in if the NCC wants to borrow money,” explaining that Section 25(2) of the Act forbids the supervising minister from undue interference.

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The senator said the proposal of the minister to vet the income and expenditure of NCC was a breach of Section 25(2) of the Act.

However, Adeola, who was the chairman, House of Representative Public Accounts Committee in the seventh National Assembly, supported the need to audit all revenue generating agencies.

He concluded by saying , “ This will clearly show how to block leakages particularly those associated with the nebulous Service Wide Votes.”

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